Irish Public Complains About RTÉ's Planned Inclusion Of Graham Linehan In Irish Trans Law Debate

Many are questioning why Graham Linehan, ‘a known transphobe', has been asked to attend a panel on trans issues on public broadcaster RTÉ.

RTE's Prime Time Receives Complaints About Planned Inclusion Of Graham Linehan In Irish Trans Law Debate

It was announced last night in a trailer for next week’s show that Graham Linehan will appear as a guest on RTÉ’s Prime Time where gender recognition will be discussed.

The inclusion of Linehan in this commentary slot has outraged many due to his history of ‘transphobic’ comments.

His track record includes attempting to block funding to Mermaids (a charity supporting trans youth), calling confirmation surgeries “mutilations” and likening trans activism to Nazism.

He has also been given a police warning for verbally harassing a trans activist.

Many have complained to the BAI and asked RTÉ to explain why they have chosen Linehan and what expertise they think he could add to the discussion as someone who is openly transphobic.

In an effort to try and get him removed as a panellist on the upcoming show, people are sending letters of complaint to both RTÉ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Dan, a student, shared the complaint letter he sent to RTÉ, which details how the decision to interview Linehan will “affect the lives of every trans person in Ireland today”:

“I already walk the streets in fear. I do not wish for that fear to be actualized more rapidly than it may”, he said in his email which he published on Twitter.

Twitter user Sami sent an email to [email protected] saying that as Ireland’s public broadcaster, having Linehan on the show is misaligned with their duty to properly inform the public on issues:

“The public would be much better served by the invitation of legal and medical experts, and very importantly, trans individuals onto the show. Graham Linehan has no qualification to discuss the issue and any discussion on trans people by him would be entirely in bad faith and would contain significant amounts of misinformation as well as targeted harassment and fearmongering.

“I strongly recommend both for the quality of the programme, and for the sake of public perception of RTÉ’s credibility, that Graham Linehan is disinvited.”

TENI has also stated their disappointment in the “unfounded views” seen in the ad for Prime Time. They tweeted:

“We are disappointed to see unfounded views on trans young people in the ad for RTE PrimeTime next week. Check out the evidence in the comprehensive report on Gender Recognition in Ireland. Trans people worried about this, we have your back.

“Trans peoples’ rights continue to enjoy wide support from across Irish society. Thank you to everyone who continues to stand up for our community.”

In a statement to GCN, RTÉ has said:

“RTÉ Prime Time is broadcasting an in-depth report on transgender issues on Tuesday night on RTÉ One. Ten contributors representing a broad range of views are interviewed. The programme examines the exponential growth in the number of young people seeking to change gender, and the implications of the proposed new law allowing them to do so without their parents’ consent. It also asks how society should treat ‘female-only’ spaces in the light of the growth in the number of transgender people. We are confident that viewers will find the programme to be a fair and responsible examination of an issue of considerable public importance.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can find support on TENI’s website.

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